Violist Melissa Reardon: From Fellow To Faculty

Violist Melissa Reardon proves you can go home again as she returns to Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, this time as a faculty member rather than a Fellow. 

Violist Melissa Reardon’s first visit to Norfolk Chamber Music Festival was as a Fellow in 1997. This time around she’s coming as a faculty member and performer.

Reardon, who is a member of the Grammy®-nominated Enso String Quartet and a founding member of East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), had just finished her first year at Curtis Institute of Music. “I was looking to go to a chamber music-focused place,” she says, noting that among the groups she worked with that summer was the Vermeer Quartet. Unlike some Fellows who come to the Festival in an established chamber group, Reardon was there as an individual Fellow. That meant she played with a variety of people in different groupings over the course of the summer. MORE

Published August 7, 2018
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Weigang Li and the Shanghai Quartet
Returning to Norfolk After 32 Years

Violinist Weigang Li of the Shanghai Quartet talks about returning to Norfolk Chamber Music Festival for the first time since attending as a Fellow. 

The first time the Shanghai Quartet (Norfolk ’86, ’92) came to Norfolk, they were Fellows visiting the U.S. for the first time and barely spoke any English. “The Tokyo String Quartet had organized a late Beethoven Quartet seminar,” recalls founding violinist Weigang Li. “To this day I still remember the things we rehearsed and learned that summer.”

“I remember hanging out every night with the Tokyo players and Jesse Levine,” he says. “We learned English and how musicians lived their lives. It had a profound influence on us.” MORE

Published July 18, 2018
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Donna Yoo (Norfolk ’04) On How The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival Informed Her Life

It’s been over a decade since Donna Yoo (Norfolk ’04) attended the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s Chamber Music Session, and she’s still close to the quintet she played with that summer. Not bad for a group that was randomly formed by the Eastman School of Music faculty when they were freshman.

They called themselves Destino Winds. “It was as if we were put together by destiny,” Yoo says of the name. “Historically, these groups don’t stay together. We were the only freshmen quintet that stayed together all four years.” MORE

Published December 5, 2017
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Pianist Ilya Poletaev On The Art Of Listening

By Janet Reynolds

Pianist Ilya Poletaev (Norfolk ’04) is a musical triple threat, as at home on the piano keyboard as he is on that of the organ or harpsichord. He’s also a master of many musical tasks and styles. While many musicians focus on orchestral careers or perhaps that of a soloist, Poletaev literally has his fingers in many worlds. MORE

Published August 12, 2017
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Joshua Gindele on Dvořák, Norfolk
and Yes … Tennis

By Janet Reynolds

The Miró Quartet is a Norfolk alumni group, having been at the Festival in the summers of 1996 and 1998. Since then, the Quartet, which is the quartet-in-residence at the University of Texas at Austin, has won numerous awards, including being chosen as the first ensemble to win the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2005.

Cellist Joshua Gindele remembers those summers fondly. “We love it there. It was a formative place for the quartet,” he says. (The Quartet formed in 1995.) “We love that there are not many distractions.”

They are excited as well, Gindele says, with the overall focus on Dvořák. “The thing with Dvořák for us is he was innovative,” he says. “He wrote very distinct textures for each part. He was able to make sometimes three or four textures work brilliantly together. Playing music like that lets us each play with a lot of character. When Dvořák is played really well, you can hear all those voices playing in harmony.” MORE

Published July 15, 2017
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